Hardly any footprints! It is packed hard except where a little new snow accumulated in a few spots. It was very cold up there today but when it warms up a bit the skating should be excellent.
Also some good news from a meeting Fredrik had with the USFS; as quoted from fredrik's email
Meeting went okay. They are okay with making the upper loop “as wide as possible”. The problem with the upper loop Is that it is in an area with lots of trails and needs to be closed off for winter. Ryan mentioned that he would rather make a loop below the service road and we talked about the old trails that we had their about 10 years ago. He is open to make these wider and mark as “UNM Ski Team Ski Loops”. That could be a good solution since very few people would use these trails except for skiers. We should check out those loops again this spring and I am planning on meeting with Ryan again in May to go over them. I now we had a loop that went down from the gate and did a loop above the big open “clear cut” area and then back again. We should also look at the entire trail we made from the ski area to the gate below the service road. He seems more enthusiastic about widening and even leveling some of these old roads and trails than doing more work on the upper side.
I do not think we will ever be able to close the service road from people walking or snowboarding but we can continue to try.
As I see it our priorities should be:
1-Find place to leave a machine on top close to the ski area. I will talk to them this spring. However, I do not want to leave my $10,000 machine up there all winter so this leads to another problem. We need to find people willing to donate to buy a machine that we can leave up there.
2-Looking at the lower loops and see if it is possible to make them flat and wide enough if we groom continuously.
I talked to Louis and he has skied up there a couple of times. I think it is more about approaching the ski area and ask if there is a place where we can have a machine. It has to be away from their operation so that it is not in the way or is operated on the ski area trails during operation. There might not be a place like this. The other option would be to make a storage place somewhere off the lower look where no snow boarders and not too many other people would have a reason to go. To make a makeshift storage area down there far enough away from the service road might work if we can put signs and mark the machine. Not sure if FS even have to know about it if we are not building any permanent structures. The main point is to have a machine and some equipment that Ron and ???? could drive over the trails a few times when I am gone. We can mark the machine with UNM Ski Team and have a permit on the machine and that way you all can be volunteer coaches and work under UNM’s permit.
The problem is that it is only 2 guys at the FS that can do any work for us as far as cutting trees etc. However, they are willing to help out and they are willing to let us put up signs to designate some trails as ski trails."